As seen in the latest Puma campaign, Avelino is man of many wise words. He is always at the top of his game and strives to be the best of the best. But, what does a rapper of such a high calibre listen to? Where does Avelino draw his inspiration from?
When we sat down with the rapper, he made it clear that he is always willing to learn whether that’s from music, art or fashion. He says he’s “like a sponge- drawing inspiration from the next big thing”. So, what is the next big thing in the eyes of Avelino?
Introducing the Footasylum Tracklist. A carefully complied tracklist highlighting songs, musicians and albums that are in the spotlight this month. To kick off the series, Avelino gives his perspective on the music scene. He shares a mix of music he has been looking to for inspiration, musicians who have been killing the game, and those who are just constantly on repeat for the rapper. Not to mention his own music, which he laughingly jokes that everyone should be listening to.
The name “Rema” has been floating around the UK music scene a lot in the past year, and the singer has caught the attention of Avelino too. After ground-breaking success in Nigeria, it seems his fun and playful take on Afrobeats is also resonating with listeners here too. The genre of Afrobeats has had a growing presence within UK music over the past few years. With many African diasporic rappers tapping into their heritage in their music making processes.
His single Dumebi featured in his self-titled EP, and was at no.1 in the Nigerian charts for a whole month. And, with a catchy tune and lyrical rhythm, it makes sense that the track creeped into various other charts around the world. As Rema’s music makes its way around the world, one country at a time, his sound diversifies. His track Bad Commando takes on the Latin guitar fused with his afrobeats sound. Now, with a healthy mix of singles and EP’s, we wait for his debut album, and so does Avelino.
Frank Ocean’s melodic and smooth musical stylings have soothed many souls since he first began making music. His first album Channel Orange picked up a Grammy for best Urban Contemporary album- an accolade that not many artists attain in their debut works. His second album Blonde flew to Platinum. It showed an exploration of modern-day cultural themes, like Nike and Facebook. A song writing process he regularly took in his earlier song writing days at Oddfuture.
In his new music, Ocean explores the deep depths of music with a moodier set of tracks. Both DHL and In My Room show a new style for Frank Ocean. After 2 surprise releases and hints of more, its only to be expected that a new album will be released soon.
A blend of Hip-Hop and R&B is what the collective, WSTRN, sing to. The 3 relatives are best known for their track In2, which, if you cast your memory back to 2015 was a summer smash hit.
This year the West London based collective, released WSTRN Season vol.2. The album sees more of those easy listening summer tracks that WSTRN is known for. At points, the album escalates into more up-tempo boppy moments, which will take you from day to night. Vol.2 features artists, Miraa May, Unknown T, SOB and R.B.E: all breaking through the UK music scene with force.
As far as greats are concerned in music, Avelino definitely considers Dave to be a big one. The 2019 Mercury Prize winner swooped up the prize for his album Psychodrama. When it first came out in March, the album went viral across Instagram and Twitter for Dave’s unmatched lyricism. The sign-of-the-times artist often explores themes of racial identity, injustice on the streets and mental health intertwined with common tales of university and relationships.
Later in the year, Dave proved his talent could stretch to TV screens across the world as he played a starring role of Modie in Top Boy. Along with the feature he released a track called Professor X. Originally meant for his Psychodrama album, instead the track, found a place on the programme’s playlist. Coming off the release of Psychodrama, it shows a more mature and tamed approach to his rap style. The master of words shows that he too, is a model of Professor X.
As Avelino was breaking through the industry with Iconic Ambition, he was swiftly taken under the wing of Wretch 32. A fusion of their creative forces saw them make Young Fire, Old Flame. The mixtape was released as a free download but received high critical acclaim from the likes of Complex and NME. Now, both continue collaborate and produce together music in their respective projects. So, it’s no surprise that Wretch 32 is on Avelino’s track list.
This October, Wretch 32 released Upon Reflection featuring grime heavyweights; Ghetts, Giggs and of course, Avelino. As the title suggests, the album became a retrospective into the rapper’s life and those who have had a great significance on him. Acting as a story book, Wretch 32 narrates his views on religion, success and even his relationship with Avelino. This piece is one to listen to on repeat.
Listen to the tracklist and follow Footasylum on Spotify here